A rose by any other name... the sometimes confusing use of IP telephony terms


When it comes to business phone systems and telecommunications information services in general, there can be a lot of confusion regarding some of the terms that are bandied around.

Most businesses, for example, are familiar with the concept of business VoIP; they are aware that it stands for business voice over internet protocol and – as the name suggests – that it refers to the concept of making voice calls over the internet rather than via conventional telephone lines.

They are also becoming aware of the huge savings that can be made through no longer having to pay the high call tariffs charged by traditional phone companies.

Where the situation starts to become confusing however is when terms that once related to very specific technical arrangements start to be used in a more general sense.

The term ‘SIP trunking’ (session initiation protocol trunking), for example, can now refer to a whole variety of methods of adapting private business phone systems to send and receive VoIP calls.

Likewise, the term ‘IP Centrex’ is now often simply synonymous with what is generally termed ‘hosted VoIP’ – in other words a VoIP service managed and maintained on behalf of a business by a remote specialist business VoIP provider.

Many say that even the term ‘business VoIP’ is itself soon likely to come to mean so much more than voice communications over the internet; the era of video and text messaging via VoIP is almost upon us and ‘VoIP’ may likely cover a whole range of value added services.

Fortunately, as with all the best technological advances, all the business customer need to is keep close to the more reliable companies working in the field to take advantage of whatever advantages are just around the corner – regardless of how these advantages will eventually be termed.








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